"Transform" (Self-released; 2004)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

In those times when we are overwhelmed by something, whether it be life, work, school, or just the weariness of trying to make it to tomorrow, we sometimes just throw our hands in the air and pick a task and just simply get to completing it. Just recently I found myself with an overwhelming stack of CDs to review and I didn't know where to start in terms of fulfilling my obligations. So I did what any abnormal person would do I mixed up a bunch of CDs, closed my eyes, mixed the CDs up a little more, and then picked a CD so as to avoid any bias based on band name, artwork, or other superfluous factors.

I managed to pick Kineto's "Transform" and set myself to the task of this particular work product you are currently reading. At that time the ol' biases started to kick in self-produced, plain artwork, lack of substantial packaging. But I had to remind myself "don't let biases get the best of you, don't let biases pollute your mind before hearing what these guys offer with their music."

I was pleasantly surprised to a steady stream of experimental, progressive rock flowing from the speakers. This is the kind of prog-rock that you hear from the likes of Tool and Primus not the 70s variety. After writing that last sentence I came across the fact that the band has described themselves as "Primus meets Devo meets Tool meets David Sylvian meets Rush meets Cynic meets a bunch of other cool stuff." I'm not familiar with David Sylvian, but I am familiar with Rush and Cynic.  Although I wouldn't necessarily name-check Rush and Cynic based on my early experience with Kineto I can definitely say that Kineto shares the same sense of daring and fearlessness exhibited by the long-running Rush and the startling musical supernova that was Cynic.

"Transform" covers 13 tracks over more than 51 minutes and there's nary a dull moment. I won't bore you with a blow-by-blow account of each track, but trust that every song is distinctive and invigorating to these ears.  The music is creative and challenging a true joy to hear. The first listen was extremely satisfying and subsequently listens were no less satisfying. 

Kineto, throughout "Transform," sound poised and confident. While I doubt Kineto will ever gain popular mass success (and I don't think they expect it either) I do believe that the band should expect enough critical acclaim and sales success to warrant a career in music rather than the typical rat race.

Kineto's "Transform" is an interesting start for a band that should, if there is any justice in the world, generate label interest with their next set of songs.

"Transform" was produced by Kineto and engineered by Dan Menapace.  "Transform" sounds great all the way around it's obvious that there's a lot of care went into the recording.

Kineto is Forest Huggins on vocals, Rick Audet on guitars, Dan Menapace on basses, samplers, additional guitars, and vocals, and Noa Appleton on drums.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2023 21:35:58 -0400.